Need to Know
Nice to Know
Frequently Asked Questions
How Does it Work?
With the aid of a fluoroscope (a special X-ray), the physician directs a needle through the skin and into the region causing the pain. Fluoroscopy allows the physician to view the needle in real-time on the fluoroscope monitor to ensure that the needle goes directly into the desired area. Contrast may be injected to confirm the correct needle location. When the needle is correctly positioned, the anesthetic and corticosteroid medications are injected to alleviate your pain within the affected region. One or several joints may be injected depending on the location of the pain.
What Will Happen During the Exam?
A clinical staff member will bring you into the x-ray procedure room. Depending on the type of exam you may be asked to change your clothes into shorts or a gown. Your doctor will greet you, review the procedure, and ask you to sign consent for the exam. Your doctor will address any concerns or questions you may have at this time. You will be positioned on the procedure table, in the appropriate position for the type of exam you are having. Using fluoroscopy guidance, the doctor will find the area in question and mark the area. The area will be cleaned and a local anesthetic will be given to reduce discomfort during the procedure. This will be a pinch sensation and some slight burning then the area will be numb. The doctor will then inject the area with medication to reduce the pain and inflammation. A small band-aid will cover the area. Keep the area clean and dry for the next 24 hours, if needed change the band-aid. Generally speaking, the numbing medicine will wear off in 1-2 hours and you may experience your normal pain or slightly more until the medication takes effect. You can expect a small bruise around the area that was injected.
How Should I Prepare?
There are things you can do to make your experience more comfortable, and many of these will depend on your individual preferences. You might like to keep a list of questions or — as you’re doing now — educate yourself about the procedure.
- Your doctor may ask you to stop taking aspirin, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), or blood thinners (such as Coumadin or warfarin) for a time before the procedure.
- When you arrive, make sure the technologist and radiologist know about any allergies you may have, especially allergies to local anesthetics, such as lidocaine.
- If there’s any chance you may be pregnant, tell your technologist or radiologist.
- Take a bath or shower before you come in for the procedure and do not apply lotions, perfumes, or deodorants.
What Should I Bring?
On the day of your procedure you should:
- Wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothes
- Avoid bringing jewelry or valuables
What Are the Benefits and Risks?
The benefits of a joint injection could include:
- Relief of pain and immobility
- Most patients do not report any pain or discomfort during the procedure
- Recovery time is short and patients can resume their normal activities
Risks you should be aware of include:
- As with any procedure, there is a slight risk of infection.
- In some cases, patients report slight discomfort and swelling following the procedure. This can usually be controlled with over-the-counter pain medications. Talk to your doctor if you experience any discomfort following the procedure.
Keep in mind that this information is general. Your radiologist is the best source of information about how these risks and benefits may apply to you.
Farmington399 Farmington Avenue
Farmington, CT 06032
Monday - Friday | 8:00am - 4:00pm
Weeknight and weekend appointments available for MRI
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